News

applicator with closeup of dissolvable fabric

July 30, 2014 | UW Today

Dissolvable fabric loaded with medicine might offer faster protection against HIV

UW bioengineers have discovered a potentially faster way to deliver a topical drug that protects women from contracting HIV. Their method spins the drug into silk-like fibers that quickly dissolve and release drugs when in contact with moisture. The UW team is led by bioengineering assistant professor Kim Woodrow.

diagram of abnormal protein, left, intercepted by the UW’s compound that can bind to the toxic protein and neutralize it

July 28, 2014 | UW Today

New protein structure could help treat Alzheimer’s, related diseases

UW bioengineers have a designed a peptide structure that can stop the harmful changes of the body’s normal proteins into a state that’s linked to widespread diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and Lou Gehrig’s disease. The synthetic molecule blocks the proteins as they shift from their normal state into an abnormally folded form by targeting a toxic intermediate phase. “If you can truly catch and neutralize the toxic version of these proteins, then you hopefully never get any further damage in the body,” said senior author Valerie Daggett, a UW professor of bioengineering.

aerial view of the slide site at Oso, WA

July 22, 2014 | UW Today

Oso disaster had its roots in earlier landslides

A new study shows the disastrous landslide that killed 43 people at Oso, Washington involved the "remobilization" of a 2006 landslide in the same place. Joseph Wartman, a UW associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is a team leader for the study.

two female students in a programming class

July 17, 2014 | New York Times via CSE News

Some universities crack code in drawing women to computer science

The New York Times cites University of Washington as a "technology powerhouse" that is well above national averages when it comes to the percentage of women among its computer science graduates. UW's Computer Science & Engineering news page excerpts the article and provides related links and a chart.

Gov. Inslee at a podium

July 9, 2014 | Clean Energy Institute

Washington Takes Big Step Toward Renewable Energy Storage and Grid Integration

Governor Jay Inslee has announced a major state initiative to leverage state matching funds for three projects that will integrate power generated from intermittent renewable sources such as wind and solar in the state's electrical grid. UW's Clean Energy Institute is one of the participating organizations.
See also: Xconomy

smartphone display showing map of workouts and activity level over 1 week

July 8, 2014 | UW Today

Better visualizing of fitness-app data helps discover trends, reach goals

Researchers in the UW's CSE, HCDE and the Design, Use, Build group have developed visual tools to help self-trackers understand their daily activity patterns over a longer period and in more detail than current life-logging programs can offer. Their study found that people generally had an easier time meeting personal fitness and activity goals when they could see their data presented in a broader, more visual way.
See also: Exploring Visual Cuts of Personal Informatics Data (published study)

Sign at entrance of UW C4C office

July 2, 2014 | Xconomy

UW engineers fuel record-breaking startup boom

The UW spun out 18 startup companies in the past fiscal year. And although the article doesn't name the UW engineers involved, we do! AnswerDash co-founder Jake Wobbrock is an associate professor in CSE (on leave). Applied Dexterity co-founders Blake Hannaford is a professor in EE and Andrew Lewis was a grad student in ME. BluHaptic's chair is Howard Chizeck, professor in EE, VP is Fredrik Ryden, an EE PhD, and ocean engineering Andy Stewart is an affiliate assistant professor in the Applied Physics Lab. Lodespin Labs is led by MSE professor Kanaan Krishnan and MSE PhDs Matthew Ferguson and Amit Khandhar. Medical Models' owner is Michael Fassbind, BS, MS in ME. PETX's Paul Kinahan is an adjunct professor of Bioengineering. PolyDrops leaders are all from ChemE: Volha Hrechka, BS; Gregory Newbloom, PhD candidate, and associate professor Lilo D. Pozzo. VerAvanti's founder is Gerald McMorrow, BS, ME in EE.

robot arranges colored blocks

June 26, 2014 | UW Today

Ask the crowd: Robots learn faster, better with online helpers

UW computer scientists have shown that crowdsourcing can be a quick and effective way to teach a robot how to complete tasks. Instead of learning from just one human, robots could one day query the larger online community, asking for instructions or input on the best way to set the table or water the garden. The research team is led by Computer Science & Engineering's Rajesh Rao and Maya Cakmak.

PacTrans logo

June 25, 2014 | UW Today

News digest: $5.2M award for traffic-safety research

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $5.2 million to a multi-university regional transportation center led by the UW for ongoing research in transportation safety and sustainability issues. The Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium, or PacTrans, represents Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

Linden Rhoads and Vikram Jandhyala

June 24, 2014 | UW Today

Rhoads leaving UW commercialization; Jandhyala takes new innovation post

Linden Rhoads, who as vice provost for commercialization has greatly boosted the number of patents and startup companies coming from the University of Washington each year, has announced plans to return to private industry. On July 1, Vikram Jandhyala, a UW professor of electrical engineering and an inaugural Center for Commercialization entrepreneurial faculty fellow, will take over the new position of vice provost for innovation.

illustration of the molecular structure of tropoelastin, the smallest unit of the protein elastin

June 23, 2014 | UW Today

Ferroelectric switching seen in biological tissues

Jiangyu Li, professor in ME, leads research that shows ferroelectrical switching is present in a type of protein found — at the molecular level in biological tissues — in organs that repeatedly stretch and retract, such as the lungs, heart and arteries. "We may be able to use this as a very sensitive technique to detect the initiation of the hardening [of arteries] at a very early stage when no other imaging technique will be able to see it," Li said. See also:
Ferroelectric switching discovered in soft biological tissue
High glucose levels could impair ferroelectricity in connective tissues

Tiny electric car like the ones coming to campus

June 23, 2014 | UW Today

Zippy, electric micro cars coming to campus for sustainability research

The UW has been selected to receive 4 all-electric micro vehicles that will communicate data via the UW's wireless network and tablet-size onboard PCs. The information will be sent to various, to-be-determined research projects in sensing, energy, communications, and transportation. Project leaders — Daniel Kirschen, professor in EE; Yinhai Wang, professor in CEE; and Payman Arabshahi, associate professor in EE — will choose projects from proposals submitted by UW faculty. Potential projects range from using the cars to test automated parking technologies, developing a program similar to the UW’s NightRide service, strategizing the best way to charge electric cars, and even detecting and recording bird songs on campus. The research and project designs will involve undergraduate and graduate students.

UW team's EcoCar2 entry

June 20, 2014 | UW Today

UW students’ electric-hybrid car takes 2nd in international competition

The University of Washington's Advanced Vehicle Works team won second place in the international EcoCAR 2 competition this month for turning a Chevrolet Malibu into a highly efficient hybrid vehicle running on electric grid energy and biodiesel. In addition to second place overall, the team won another nine awards. See also: GeekWire | Seattle Times article | Facebook page

David McDonald

June 19, 2014

David McDonald appointed chair of HCDE

David McDonald was appointed chair and associate professor of the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering effective June 23, 2014. McDonald comes to HCDE from the UW's Information School (iSchool) and brings a wide breadth of experience as a leader, educator, and researcher. His research interests span Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and Social Computing. McDonald has taught a breadth of technical development, design, analysis, and methods courses and has demonstrated a commitment to student mentorship.

poster excerpt - ferry plies Admiralty Inlet with sensor on hull

June 17, 2014 | UW Today

Ferries for science: Instrument will monitor flow in Puget Sound

A sensor mounted on the hull of the ferry Salish will measure water direction and speed from top to bottom in Admiralty Inlet. By better understanding circulation at this "gateway between the ocean and Puget Sound," researchers can help trace events like low-oxygen fish kills to human or nonhuman causes. Jim Thomson, an oceanographer with the UW Applied Physics Laboratory and an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering is quoted.

diagram of lens with sensor and RF chip, with image of lens in eye

June 16, 2014 | UW Today

Sensor in eye could track pressure changes, monitor for glaucoma

A low-power sensor could be placed permanently in a person's eye to track hard-to-measure changes in eye pressure. The sensor would be embedded with an artificial lens during cataract surgery and would detect pressure changes instantaneously, then transmit the data wirelessly using radio frequency waves. The researchers, including UW EE professor Karl Böhringer and EE associate professor Brian Otis, published their results in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering and filed patents on an initial prototype of the pressure-monitoring device.

dog coming through a little door with the text 'Dog Door' underneath

June 12, 2014 | UW Today

New computer program aims to teach itself everything about anything

Computer scientists from UW and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle have created the first fully automated computer program that teaches everything there is to know about any visual concept. Called Learning Everything about Anything, or LEVAN, the program searches millions of books and images on the Web to learn all possible variations of a concept, then displays the results to users as a comprehensive, browsable list of images. See also: YouTube video

UW student shows middle school students EcoCAR engine (photo by Ellen Banner, Seattle Times)

May 24, 2014 | Seattle Times

UW team builds a hybrid with some muscle for collegiate contest

A Chevy Malibu converted by UW students into a powerful, biodiesel-electric hybrid is off to Michigan as part of the national EcoCAR 2 competition. Before the car was shipped out, the students showed it off to a science class at Denny International Middle School. See the Seattle Times story.

Projected Talent team members with grand prize check

May 23, 2014 | UW Engineering

$70,000 Awarded in UW Business Plan Competition

UW Engineering students and graduates were well represented on teams receiving awards ranging from $25,000 to $2,500 at the 2014 UW Business Plan Competition awards ceremony.
See also: Foster Blog | GeekWire

Linda Ng Boyle

May 22, 2014 | UW Engineering

New ISE chair: Linda Ng Boyle

Engineering dean Mike Bragg announced that Linda Ng Boyle, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering and civil and environmental engineering, will become chair of the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, effective September 16, 2014. Linda is a respected national leader in the field of transportation safety. She directs the Human Factors and Statistical Modeling Lab and serves as the associate director of research and on the board of directors of the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium.

graduate student Brad Dickerson runs tests on an insect using a pair of Helmholtz coils

May 14, 2014 | UW Today

$31M gift will fund early stage UW research by high-tech entrepreneurs

UW is receiving a $31.2 million gift from Washington Research Foundation to boost entrepreneurship and support research to advance global innovation in clean energy, protein design, big data science and neuroengineering. The funding will be used to hire new faculty, attract competitive postdoctoral researchers and enhance facilities and infrastructure.

clip from King5 News of Nate Sniadecki explaining how Stasys could help patients in the ER

May 6, 2014 | King5 News

ME startup's tool to help ER docs make quick decisions

ME Professor Nate Sniadecki and Lucas Ting, PhD ME, discuss the testing device they hope will be used in ERs to help doctors determine if patients need blood transfusions due to slow clotting. Sniadecki's startup, Stasys Medical Devices, is one of the UW medical innovations highlighted in the video (at 00:50).

telerobot with mounted camera and router

May 7, 2014 | UW Today

UW building teleoperated robots for disaster response in national challenge

University of Washington electrical engineers have developed telerobotics technology that could make disaster response faster and more efficient. By adding haptics (tactile feedback technology) to remotely controlled robots outfitted with video cameras, researchers have increased the range and precision of tasks emergency responders can perform using robots. On May 13, the team will demonstrate their technology on campus in preparation for the SmartAmerica Challenge Summit in Washington, D.C.

Nicole Trosper

May 5, 2014 | UW Bioengineering

BioE senior receives Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Nicole Trosper, a bioengineering undergrad, received a 2014 Bonderman Travel Fellowship, which allows students to pursue the life-changing benefits of travel – without undertaking academic study or research during the award term. Trosper plans to travel to Brazil, southeastern Africa, Cambodia and Vietnam. She is interested in seeing the role of medicine and engineering across cultures, and how the disciplines enhance cultural identity. Read about all the 2014 UW Bonderman fellows.

child at laptop computer

May 2, 2014 | UW Today

Teaching kids the language behind their devices—Code.org co-founder to speak

Code.org co-founder and CEO, Hadi Partovi, will speak at UW on May 8 for the Washington Education Innovation Forum. Partovi will discuss what we can do to prepare students for science, technology, math and engineering jobs. CSE professor Ed Lazowska will provide introductory remarks.
See also: on-demand video of the event »

implanted cells (green) meshed with primates' heart cells (red)

April 30, 2014 | UW Health Sciences NewsBeat

Scientists regenerate heart muscle in primates

In a major advance, UW researchers have successfully restored damaged heart muscle of monkeys using heart cells created from human embryonic stem cells. Dr. Charles Murry, a UW professor of pathology, bioengineering, and medicine, led the research team that conducted the experiment.

children watch a water rocket blast off

April 23, 2014 | UW Today

Thousands on campus for Engineering Discovery Days, April 25-26

Don’t be surprised if you see a water rocket launch along Rainier Vista or a human-powered submarine showing off by the fountain this week! Engineering Discovery Days is Friday and Saturday, April 25-26. The event is free and open to the public.

placing a Micro Phone Lens on a smart phone

April 15, 2014 | UW Today

UW graduate’s lens turns any smartphone into a portable microscope

UW mechanical engineering alumnus Thomas Larson (’13) has taken the plunge into entrepreneurship: his Olympia, WA company is producing low-cost, plastic lenses that turn smart phones and tablet computers into microscopes. Larson's path to commercialization began in the lab of ME associate professor Nathan Sniadecki and progressed through the UW Business Plan Competition and a successful Kickstarter campaign.
See also: The Olympian

hands being shaken over UWEE and SEIEE agreement

April 11, 2014 | UW Today

UWEE and Shanghai university collaborate on combined BSEE/MSEE program

UW Electrical Engineering and the School of Electronics, Information and Electrical Engineering (SEIEE) in Shanghai, China are collaborating to build a combined BSEE and MSEE program. The programs already have strong ties, with 3 UWEE PhD alumni teaching at SEIEE. UWEE chair and professor Vikram Jandhyala and CoE Advancement's Mahnaz Sherzoi traveled to China to seal the deal.

original image of child's face with three age-progressed versions

April 9, 2014 | UW Today

Automated age-progression software lets you see how a child will age

University of Washington researchers have developed software that automatically generates images of a young child’s face as it ages through a lifetime. The technique is the first fully automated approach for aging babies to adults that works with variable lighting, expressions and poses. CSE's Steven Seitz and Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman have released a paper on the technique. See also: Seattle Times

aerial image of Oso landslide. Photo: Weldon Wilson, Washington State Patrol

April 1, 2014 | UW Today

UW experts part of technical team investigating Snohomish County mudslide

CEE associate professor Joseph Wartman will co-lead a national team to investigate the Oso Washington mudslide to understand why the slope collapsed, in the hope that a similar disaster can be prevented. Wartman and UW geomorphologist David Montgomery hope to visit the landslide site this week, followed by a visit from the entire reconnaissance team of six experts from universities, government agencies and industry. See also: National Geographic
UW researchers, radar company conduct aerial surveys of site

segment of network graph showing the top Twitter hashtags after the Boston Marathon bombing

March 17, 2014 | UW Today

Hold that RT: Much misinformation tweeted after 2013 Boston Marathon bombing

HCDE's Kate Starbird led research that shows misinformation spread widely on Twitter after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, despite efforts to correct inaccurate rumors. Their Paper presented at iConference 2014 won a top award.
See also: KUOW interview with Kate Starbird

Jeff Richards, ChemE student

March 2014 | Columns

Fellowship helps ChemE PhD student's solar energy research

Jeff Richards is researching ways to improve the efficiency of solar cells in the Pozzo Research Group. Jeff's research focuses on the chemical makeup of a solar panel's active layer and testing the use of cheaper, easier-to-recycle plastic materials. See also: Science of the Sun video

graphical representation showing the layers of the 2-D LED and how it emits light

March 10, 2014 | UW Today

Scientists build thinnest-possible LEDs to be stronger, more energy efficient

Materials Science & Engineering researchers Xiaodong Xu, assistant professor, and grad student Jason Ross helped build LEDs that are 10,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair. "This is a huge leap of miniaturization of technology, and because it's a semiconductor, you can do almost everything with it that is possible with existing, three-dimensional silicon technologies," Ross said. See also: Nature Nanotechnology paper

pre-k student holds sheep brain, compares to human brain

March 04, 2014 | The Seattle Times

Brain Awareness Week

Eric Chudler, associate research professor in BioE and executive director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, organizes brain awareness events to celebrate Brain Awareness Week. The official week is March 10-16. See also: More brain education opportunities, including a summer camp, a teacher's workshop, and visits to classrooms and listen to the KPLU story.

Three students in a thoughtful conversation

March 04, 2014 | UW Today

New initiative prompts engineering students to look back to go forward

Reflecting on and learning from their educational experiences is crucial to students' academic and career successes. The Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching is establishing the Consortium to Promote Reflection in Engineering Education to enhance student learning and foster a better-prepared engineering workforce. The program was made possible by a $4.4 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

user holding AllSee prototype attached to smartphone and gesturing with closed hand

February 27, 2014 | UW Today

Battery-free technology brings gesture recognition to all devices

UW engineering team has built a low-cost gesture recognition system that runs without batteries and lets users control their electronic devices hidden from sight with simple hand movements. The prototype, called AllSee, uses existing TV signals as both a power source and the means for detecting a user's gesture command. The research is led by Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, and assisted by graduate students in electrical engineering. See also: Bringing Gesture Recognition To All Devices (technical paper)

Bobak Ferdowsi - Brian DalBalcon Photography

February 20, 2014 | UW Today

NASA's 'Mohawk Guy' advocates 'audacious,' creative engineering

Bobak Ferdowsi, a NASA flight engineer who became known as "Mohawk Guy" after sporting a mohawk hairstyle during the 2012 rover Curiosity’s landing on Mars, spoke to a class of University of Washington aeronautics and astronautics engineering students on Feb. 19. Ferdowsi was a student in the department and graduated from the UW in 2001. He spoke with UW News & Information's Michelle Ma after his talk. See also: Columns alumni magazine

James J. Riley

February 6, 2014 | UW Today

ME's James Riley elected to National Academy of Engineering

James J. Riley, PACCAR Professor of Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. The academy cited his "contributions in analysis, modeling, and computations of transitioning and turbulent phenomena." Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer. See also: National Academies press release

Chris Burfeind holds the prototype microfluidic device

February 6, 2014 | UW Today

Credit card-sized device could analyze biopsy, help diagnose pancreatic cancer in minutes

UW scientists and engineers are developing a low-cost device that could potentially reduce the time it takes to diagnose cancer to a matter of minutes. A prototype made from silicon and teflon tubes uses fluid transport to convey pieces of tissue through a series of steps -- the same steps that full-scale pathology labs apply. (Pictured: ME undergraduate Chris Burfeind.) See also: King5 News

image of injected cosmetic filler resting in tissue without blocking blood vessels and veins

January 27, 2014 | UW Today

Facelift complications eased with help of new 3-D imaging technique

BioE professor Ruikang Wang's lab has pioneered a fine-resolution imaging technique called optical microangiography that creates 3-D images of tiny vascular networks without touching or adding dyes. The technique allows scientists to look at blood vessels during an injection and may lead to insight into other vascular health issues such as strokes, traumatic brain injuries, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Francois Baneyx

January 22, 2014

François Baneyx: new chair of UW chemical engineering

François Baneyx, the Charles W.H. Matthaei Professor in Chemical Engineering, has stepped into the role of Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. François has held many leadership positions, including directing the UW Center for Nanotechnology, NSF National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, and NSF Genetically Engineered Materials Science and Engineering Center (co-director). Dean Mike Bragg describes François as an exceptional scholar whose many awards include his 2013 election as a Fellow in the AAAS. He takes over from Dan Schwartz who is the new director of the Clean Energy Institute.

dentist operates on a patient's mouth (photo: US Navy)

January 21, 2014 | UW Today

Dental school researchers patent new antibacterial agent

Four UW School of Dentistry faculty members have received a patent for a new way of using titanium-based materials to fight oral bacteria. The method employs a novel class of substances called titanates and peroxotitanates, which can inhibit bacterial growth without incurring the toxicity risks the metals would otherwise pose. BioE's James Bryers was co-principal investigator on federally-funded research that culminated in the patent.

dam on the Columbia River

January 15, 2014 | UW Today

Glaciers, streamflow changes are focus of new Columbia River study

As the Earth warms, experts know the Columbia River will change—they just don’t know how much or when. UW environmental engineers are launching a new study to try to understand how climate change will affect streamflow patterns, important for guiding long-term decision-making for the Columbia River Basin. UW Civil & Environmental Engineering professor Dennis Lettenmaier is leading the project with CEE researcher Bart Nijssen and OSU's Philip Mote.

ultrasound image with kidney stone and path marked in red

January 10, 2014 | UW Today

Trial to test using ultrasound to move kidney stones

A new device developed at the University of Washington would let doctors use ultrasound to move kidney stones inside the body and help them pass by natural means. Instead of breaking up large stones, this technique "could move small stones to reduce pain, expense and treatment times" according to ME assistant professor Charles Bailey. With urologists eager to use the new technology, the team hopes to move rapidly to commercialization. See also: YouTube

a representation of how the engineered proteins decorate a nanoparticle's surface

January 7, 2014 | UW Today

On-demand vaccines possible with engineered nanoparticles

UW chemical engineering professor François Baneyx hopes a new type of vaccine shown to work in mice will one day make it cheaper and easy to manufacture on-demand vaccines for humans. "A field doctor could see the beginnings of an epidemic, make vaccine doses right away, and blanket-vaccinate the entire population in the affected area to prevent the spread of an epidemic," said Baneyx, lead author of a recent paper published online in the journal Nanomedicine.

ALTTEXT

January 3, 2014 | HCDE News

HCDE department chair shines as leader in field

Jan Spyridakis, department chair and professor of HCDE, shines as the most published experimental researcher in the last 20 years in technical communication journals. She coauthored 11% of the total sample on a breadth of themes, including comprehension, genre, technology, communication strategies, and editing and style. The same study found that researchers at the UW had the most output of any other research affiliate.

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